Sometimes I’m on a roll, sometimes I’m in a funk

The week before this last one I felt especially productive. I was on a roll with multiple projects, my sewjo was flowing, and I was in the groove.

This week not so much. My mojo totally fled. I couldn’t get in any kind of consistent rhythm. All of the quilting to-do lists were ignored and I didn’t hit the ‘business’ deadlines I’d hoped.

I debated even writing a post because I didn’t have anything new to share.

But then I thought, you know, this is how life is these days for so many of us. I’m trying to do a better job of just allowing “what is” right now.

Most of the time I’ve loved having my family around for the last few months. But other times, I miss quiet time alone. Since our son’s health changes in January, I haven’t had many times alone to just work or think. And I think that’s taking a little bit of a toll – it’s harder for me to get into a ‘flow’ with anything. I’m constantly a little bit distracted. I feel like I’ve made more mistakes,typos, or written less coherently for weeks. Thanks for your patience with me.

As I was starting to feel frustrated with myself that I didn’t get much work or creative sewing done this past week, I look back and I realized I did accomplish some sewing and a lot of other even more important things:

It was a crazy week for my husband in his business and other responsibilities and I just needed to pick up that parental slack for him.

We made and delivered Senior Graduation gifts to 13 kids in our neighborhood.

We visited two cemeteries with loved ones.

We went for a drive and hike in the nearby mountains which totally fed my soul (see photo above).

I made two blocks for the Riley Blake block challenge.

I finished my last 100 PPE masks for Project Protect. (I had 11 days this time to do it, but couldn’t get myself moving on them until the last day and a half. Good thing there was a deadline to make me get them done. And I did enjoy working on them once I got myself to sit and sew.)

I hosted a bridal shower for one of my daughter’s friends in a weird, social-distancing kind of event that ended up in our garage because of bad weather.

I planted flowers including a lot of Zinnias. Seeing as we now have no summer plans, I’m channeling more energy and effort into my yard. And I’m enjoying that. It’s become a nice quiet place to work and to just be still.

I attended another round of medical appointments with our son. (Thanks to all those who ask about him. He’s improving ever so slightly, but it’s slow going. Such is the case with Dysautonomia issues. I find myself not wanting to talk much about it to other people, even when kind people ask about him.  I think because it’s mentally taxing trying to explain something that we still don’t fully have answers for ourselves. And I think that’s contributing to my funk this week. Sometimes I feel optimistic and other weeks I feel discouraged. I know that’s pretty normal. I’m trying to just roll with both.)

I felt sad and concerned for so many who are going through an exceptionally difficult time right now, for the upheaval and fear many are facing – far more difficult than what I’m dealing with.

I caught up with some good friends that I hadn’t seen for months. Also good for the soul.

Typing all of that, is a good reminder that I accomplished a lot. Even when I felt in a funk. And a good reminder that I’m a human.

I’m also noticing some of my interests changing and evolving. For example, I typically enjoy social media, but have found it overwhelming and draining for the past month and have found myself avoiding it.

Normally I love listening to audio books and podcasts, but lately I’ve had a harder time focusing and I’ve started listening to classical music! I haven’t done that for a while and it’s been a nice change of pace. I’ve even started playing it for my family through the house (with various types of responses. I’m going to win them over.)

We’ve consumed so much media these past few months, I’m trying to do better at turning off screens and playing the classical music, or just having silence to give our brains a break.

I’ve also made time each day to be still – to read scripture or other inspiring words, to meditate, practice gratitude, and to ponder/pray. I know that’s bringing me more peace than I realize sometimes.

I started cross stitching again. For some reason, it just sounded soothing to me. So I pulled out my Pretty Little London cross stitch project that I started 5 years ago and I’ve been working away on it happily while I hang out with my kids. I think I lost interest in it a while back because I wasn’t loving my color choices. I’m still not 100% loving them, but I’m feeling rejuvenated and in the mood to get it done anyway.

(Pretty Little London pattern by Satsuma Designs found here. Adorable Needle Minder by Flamingo Toes available here.)

So I guess I share all of that just to let you know, if you’re in a funk, it’s not just you. In fact, it helped me to read this interview with many creatives in All People Quilt Magazine about their own creativity ups and downs right now.

We’re all just humans, and we’re not alone in our processing life in these tumultuous times. Hang in there, friends.

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  • Reply
    Robby H.
    May 30, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    I think there’s a large section of humanity that is right there with you on the roller coaster of this time. Thank you for pointing out your needle minder. It looks perfect for a little sweet extra for a block swap I’m doing with a couple of friends. I’m usually terrible at those types of ideas, and now I’m already halfway there. Take care.

    • Reply
      June 1, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Oh good! I’m glad it was helpful. Those needle minders are so cute. Perfect for a thoughtful gift for a friend.

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Robby.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    thank you. I went into a funk this week also. I am trying to focus on the present moment. but some days are harder.

  • Reply
    Tanya Quilts in CO
    May 30, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    I have totally lost my mojo too! I did manage to complete a quilt for a foster child because I had a deadline and I am only really binding. I bind for my longarmer and she quilts for me, so I feel obligated to get the quilts I have in my stack for her. My husband is recovering from the virus and is getting better, but when he was really ill–it was very stressful! I have been doing a little reading, but not as much as usual during summer vacation. I probably should avoid social media and that might help, but mindless scrolling seems like all I can manage sometimes!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you for posting news of your funk. ME TOO. Things seem to be breaking down around the house faster than I can gather the tools to fix. Today, my sewing machine conked out. No need to say more. Going back to a reliable expression I haven’t used in a while. There isn’t enough chocolate. Thanks for listening, hearing and mostly sharing.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    A roll, a funk, a “what day of the week is it?” is hitting all of us. Plus you have additional issues with your son. Please don’t worry about us. You have enough o your plate now

  • Reply
    Annie Williamson
    May 31, 2020 at 12:01 am

    What a lovely and thoughtful post. Appreciate your honesty about the “struggle”. We are all walking unknown paths, trying to find our footing on what has been laid before us. Some days are just harder than others. Your post resonant so true. Low go mojo and a bag of Cheetos later has kept me away from projects tonight (Cheetos + crafting = messy)- lol. Nice to know that others are employing similar coping techniques. Thanks again 🐝

  • Reply
    Joy Kutt
    May 31, 2020 at 12:15 am

    I totally understand the funk and losing your sdwjo and mojo. I had joint replacement in March one day and the facility that my parents live in went into total lock down the next. I am so grateful that they and the other residents are safe and healthy. They have not had one single case of COVID-19 due to their precautions. But I am not allowed in and they are not allowed out. I have not seen them to hug or reassure them since March. To do what I can, I’ve made masks for the employees and others that may need them. I make them and give them away. You can’t put a price on someone’s health and safety.
    So, chin up and hang in there. There are people “standing with you and beside you”.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for sharing what is happening with you during this difficult time. While I hope that others are safe, happy and productive, it helps to know I’m not the only one experiencing ups and downs.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 1:14 am

    I love this post about being in a funk. I too was on a roll previous weeks and now seem to be sad and non productive. I did start reading the book Project 333 and actually went through my clothes yesterday and got rid of a ton and kept the best. That was huge for me since I “used to keep everything”.
    About Bluprint, I too am REALLY sad about that. Why would they pull it? I have 50 classes that I bought. Yikes! I know we get to download them somehow but is there anything else on the market like it? I’ll miss Blupring/Craftsy! This adds to my sadness. I appreciate you posting about it. I needed to tell someone about how I feel.
    Thank you for your website and all you add to my life and to others. Please don’t ever go away! We need you and enjoy you and your beautiful handiwork, even if you don’t have anything new, your heartfelt words mean so much. I look forward to your emails! Wishing you blessings with your son and everyday things.

    • Reply
      Dolors Novau Feixat
      May 31, 2020 at 1:49 am

      Deseo que vaya mejorando tu situacion.Animo no puedes perder tu energia.Tu hijo te necesita.Gracias por el ejemplo que nos das y por los ratos tan agradables que pasamos contigo.Un abazo

  • Reply
    Jill Currie
    May 31, 2020 at 4:09 am

    Thank you for sharing how you feel. I think you have encapsulated just how we are all feeling and the swings between being productive and utter lassitude. Though by any standards, you have accomplished a huge amount this week, This is a worldwide thing(speaking from the UK) and we are truly all in it together. It also reminds us of the really important things in life: being with and caring for family and friends, especially when we may not be able to physically be with them. Thank you for sharing your skills and creativity through your blog and website. Your blog posts are a highlight of my week and I have learnt so much from you. Hoping that your son continues to improve and that you find joy and peace in these strange times.

  • Reply
    Nikki Moshier
    May 31, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Enjoyed (is that the right word) your honesty this morning. While we all have different worries, they are important to us. This is a stressful time and reading your post made me realize we are not alone. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kim Beidler
    May 31, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Dear Amy, I’ve followed you for a long time and always look forward to seeing/ reading what you are up to. Your characteristic optimism shines through your troubles. Glad you are giving yourself permission to be human and that you were willing to share with us. May your son’s health improve steadily. All the best to you and your family.

  • Reply
    Barbara Jansz
    May 31, 2020 at 6:04 am

    You have so much on your mind right now. Sounds like you are handling it so well. You and your son will be in my prayers.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 6:41 am

    I appreciate your honesty. I have a former co-worker who was diagnosed with dysautonomia. Seeing and hearing about her struggles gives me some understanding of what you’re dealing with. Add in the times we’re in . . . . You’re doing all you can and the best you can – give yourself grace. Keeping a good thought for your son and all of you.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 6:45 am

    You are definitely not alone. Sometimes I just want everyone to be quiet. Thank you for the info on Satsuma Designs. Just ordered.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Karen
    May 31, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Dearest Amy, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. May you be gentle with yourself, and be granted the stamina to do those things that are absolutely necessary. Everything else can wait.💖

  • Reply
    Karen O.
    May 31, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for such a beautifully honest post! Yes, you are human, and you don’t have to try and pretend that you’re not. I’m so glad that you have found things that bring you peace right now. Please don’t be hard on yourself. Do what you need to do to stay well! I will say a prayer for you and your family.

    I too am very sad about Bluprint. I took the beginner quilting class with Christa Watson a year and a half ago, and I’ve been happily stitching away (and obsessively buying fabric) ever since! One of my first thoughts when I heard the news was how disappointing this must be for all of you who put so much hard work into those classes. I really appreciate how much talent all of you have shared with us!

    Btw…one last random note…I was so excited because I was able to track down some Gingham Girls fabric on Etsy last week. I now have some fabric stashed away from each of your fabric lines! 😍

  • Reply
    Candace Allan
    May 31, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Thank you for sharing your feelings (along with beautiful projects). You are not alone! I echo the other encouragers who posted this comment. And I am glad to see that I am not alone either! The never ending stress of this virus era is doing weird things to us all. It will pass in time. Thanks for great ideas to share & copy- I made 6 flag miniquilt/ mugrugs as gifts. Please don’t retire from this blog, we all love you!

  • Reply
    Lorraine Barnett
    May 31, 2020 at 8:24 am

    You are a gem and one of the dear friends “I’ve never met.” Thank you for all you do, for your generous heart, your honesty, your vision, and for the encouragement you give to me and others! May God bless your family in great ways that will surprise and delight all of you! And by the way….that hike and scenery! Oh my, what a treat!!!

  • Reply
    Sherry Gendel
    May 31, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I can completely relate to the need for some quiet time. A conference session I attended on creativity stated that to feed your creativity you need times of quiet and I could not agree more! Hang in there and celebrate the little wins and look for moments of joy each day.

  • Reply
    Leslie K.
    May 31, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Amy, thanks so much for writing this post! You have described exactly how I have also been feeling for months….such ups and downs! My prayers are with your family as you investigate your son’s health. You always give such great inspiration to us all and share such beautiful projects (as well as beautiful pictures of Utah). I too have started back up with cross stitch after many years away from the craft. There is also lots of computer solitaire games and classical music in my life….about all I have the energy for right now. Again, thanks for expressing your real world; it reminded me that many others are having the same reactions as I am having! Blessings to your entire family.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for the honesty! I think we are all going thru a lot right now, and we have to cut ourselves some slack! The world is a rough place to be right now. Classical music is the best! Thanks to an app, I can stream my hometown classical music station 1600 miles away! Or even listen to a Great Britain station on the internet. So great! I think it’s good to write down what we accomplish. I’ll write something in my planner just so I can cross it off. 😂 I think you are doing great! Hang in there! ❤️

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Dearest Amy! So glad you shared as others have been echoing… FUNK feeling of lost mojo… dunno. Our quilting group has been shut down since mid March and we just had our 1st quilt day. 3 people besides myself showed up. I was sad, disappointed and now worried.
    Our family has genetic heart issues… I have so felt all the anxieties. We also have auto immune disorders by the dozen… mine is a cluster… Try finding a life sustaining drug during a pandemic. I highly suspect some of the pharmaceutical companies that I deal with have been sourcing from China or other foreign countries. What is normally $36.00 was nearly $400.00. Can you say GOUGE. Tempers are short, worries are many. I try to just be still and place my faith in GOD that this will all work out. FUNK??? well I eff bomb frequently now, (more than before) Maybe funk would be an “alternative” eff bomb? Hang in there and I will hang in with you 🙂 <3

  • Reply
    Roxy Sherburne
    May 31, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Dear Amy: Lately, we all have those types of funky days, and most of us try to do too much! I live about 30-40 minutes from the Twin Cities and have been staying up late watching the news and it’s been horrible! Last night was the first night I felt at peace with added security of our Minnesota National Guard, and all the other officers/patrols called in to help protect our cities. Remember, “We’re all in this together!”

  • Reply
    June 1, 2020 at 5:53 am

    So sorry about your funk, I totally understand. I have been pushing myself to persue all of my creative outlets and so far have accomplished some on a daily basis. Prayers for your son.

  • Reply
    Carole Whitridge
    June 1, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Amy, what an inspiring post. I think what is important is to remember that sewing is not a ‘should’ and if we are not finding comfort in it at any given moment then that’s okay. Next week will be different. I’ve shared that my teenager is sick too and I’m very familiar with the ‘can’t concentrate’. Allison Harris once posted that she takes a walk and counts her blessings each day – I’ve taken to doing that too, and it’s a good practice. What’s taken many of us by surprise is where we find the ‘hard’. It’s not where you expect. It’s okay to be unproductive sometimes – you are more productive than most people on the planet. And it’s okay to need a little alone time too.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Hi Amy, thanks for sharing this – I fell similarly! Glad to know your son is showing improvement, albeit slowly. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 2, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    We all feel the same way. Media overload, trying to reopen preschool. I made over 100 masks for colleagues, students and the family. I had to take a break from it. This past week, I’ve just been sewing for me. Despite how you feel, you have been amazingly productive. I was a slave to Masterpiece Theater for 30 years, but, believe it or not, Downtown burned me out. When I do watch ME, I find myself being super critical. Our interests wax and wane with time. It’s OK to find time for yourself. I am disappointed about Bluprint. I hope I can continue to access my classes. I learned so much form yours! Thank you!! Stay safe and be well.

  • Reply
    Kaye Hlavaty
    June 4, 2020 at 7:22 am

    After reading today’s post I wanted to support you in some small way so I ordered a needle minder from your link. Each time I use it I will gladly send prayers and warm thoughts to you, your son, and your family.

  • Reply
    Sheila Hill
    June 7, 2020 at 8:09 am

    You bring joy, honesty and the reality of the real world to many of us in your newsletter. I am in the UK and generally receive your newsletter on a Sunday afternoon and I can honestly say that I always look forward to reading and sharing your newsletter. Thank you. stay safe, stay healthy, sending you kind thoughts and good wishes.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Thank you this post. I’ve had a more difficult time for 2 months now. Sewing is sporadic for me. I find myself listening to war songs from the 60’s. Then came the other sad information with the protesting. I’ve been in the dumps. When all the black screens on Instagram came from the quilting community it really threw me down. This was my “escape” to see the pretty fabrics, but I was ridiculed for not understanding. People are more upset and even mean. I’ve decided to sell as much of my fabric as I can and buy only a few backing of what fabric I keep. The world is in such a sad state. At 72 it’s time for me to cut back, and do more bible study. I am sorry for your sons health and will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for letting me express my feelings.

    • Reply
      June 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      It’s a strange time to be alive. It’s hard to stay positive all the time and I like to read about people’s real experiences, not carefully curated Instagram nonsense, so thanks for such an honest post. I also was bummed out to learn of bluprint closing. I’ve loved those classes and learnt so much from them.

  • Reply
    Susan K
    June 13, 2020 at 7:24 am

    This is so much me right now! My husband and I are both retired now. The boys are grown and gone so we don’t have to deal with work or school. My middle son has vestibular migraines. We spent a year going from one doctor to the next looking for answers to his symptoms. At the same time I had a major pinched nerve back issue so could hardly walk. We were a pair going from doctor to doctor. Now that he is more stable (4 years later) and I am too, I realize how mentally and physically draining that time was for both of us.
    It sounds like in going day to day you got things done but that it didn’t fit your expectations of yourself. I too have been trying to limit social media and the news and listening to classical music. The music just soothes and quiets me.
    Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing this.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Susan. Yes- I think you’ve summed up the feeling so well. Just mentally and physically draining. It’s good to hear that there’s hope for another side of this at some point. Thank you again. xoxo

  • Reply
    Johanna Burian
    August 17, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I know this post is older but I just wanted to chime in that I think we’re all feeling the funk right now and all we can do is keep plugging along. I also wanted to ask what colors you used for your London cross stitch. I think it’s funny that you were unsure of your color selection because I FAR prefer yours to the original.

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